I have been fortunate enough to know all of my grandparents very well. Both sets attended our wedding and when I look back on that memory I feel so blessed.
My Grandma Mille passed away at the age of 91 in October of 2012. Her birthday was in August and so around this time of year I always think of her.
We didn’t live near her when we were children, so when we came to visit she would always have toys that she bought laying on the coffee table for me and my sister. I loved maraschino cherries and she would buy a small jar, keep them in the fridge, and let me snack on them throughout the day. When we came to visit in the summer, she would always take us to buy new flip flops, even though she lived in the midwest, nowhere near a beach. She loved to read true crime books and every afternoon she would drink one coke (she only allowed herself one a day) and peel and eat an apple and watch her favorite soap. She absolutely loved having her grandgirls around. There were four of us, my sister and I, and my two cousins, all girls. My father had one brother and so having four girls was wonderful to her.
My grandma Millie also loved fashion. She could never afford designer clothes or expensive shoes or purses but she admired them from afar; mostly through subscribing to fashion magazines. At one point she had over 10 fashion magazines coming to her house: Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Vanity Fair, and Marie Claire to name a few.
When my sister and I were in college, we ended up moving very close to my grandparents home. We would spend lots of time with them, going out to lunch, coming by the house for Friday night football chili dinners, or just stopping by on the weekend to chat. My grandmother would save her read magazines and pass them on to my sister and I so that we could look through them too. I loved this because I love to read and magazines are my favorite slow Saturday morning indulgence.
But the best thing was that my grandmother would make small notes in the margins of the articles, on the sides of pictures, and on ads to me and my sister. They would say things like, “I have this” if it was an article about health, or if a celebrity had exceptionally voluptuous hair she might say “That’s a wig.” She would even leave the cover page of an article and write “Inappropriate” or “Explicit” on that page and then rip the rest of the article out of the magazine so we wouldn’t be exposed to anything imprudent.
When I think back about my grandma and these delightful small memories flood my mind, it helps me to remember that it’s not about money or gifts or things but about time and details and attention we give to those we love.
While we talk a lot about fitness, food, and sleep taking moments to reflect on those who have loved us or do love us and making sure we absorb that love is part of living our most adventurous and best life too.
Thanks Grandma Mille, for being a remarkable grandma.